Sep 19, 2021  

LAW - 652 Public Law: Legislation & the Regulatory State

(2 hrs.)

This course provides an introduction to the main topics of public law, including: the structure of government and separations of powers, theories of representative democracy, theories and doctrines of statutory interpretation and the role of judges in a democracy, the role of administrative agencies in our system, the relationship between the agencies and the rest of the government, Congressional oversight, and the role of the press and civil society in the development and implementation of federal legislation and regulation. The course also will provide you with a basic overview of the roles and functions of administrative agencies in Federal government, and of the relationship between these agencies and Congress, the President, and the courts. Whereas the focus of the traditional first year law school curriculum is “private” common law, the “public” law of legislation and regulation exert the most profound effects on the nation and its people. Unifying themes and inquiries pervading the course will include the comparative advantages and disadvantages of legislation and regulation (as opposed to private contract, property and tort remedies) to remedy social problems; the function and role of judges in checking legislative and administrative power; and the impact of the administrative state on democracy, the law, and Americans’ daily lives. In addition to the learning objectives and outcomes specified above, this course aims to familiarize you with the practical components of legislative and regulatory lawyering, including lobbying and legislative and regulatory drafting, analysis, and litigation. It also will expose you to other theoretical and practical issues at the heart of lawyering in Washington, including campaign finance and the freedom of information.